The Ultimate Guide To Batching For Authors
Ever feel like there just isn't enough hours in the day to get everything done that you want to in your author business? I get it. There are so many moving pieces to authorship - the book writing, the marketing, the publicity, the business management, getting sales, engaging with readers, the list goes on and on.
Us indie authors are busy little bees. I've been an online entrepreneur for almost a decade now, and throughout that time I've learned a thing or two on working more productively. Even better? I've brought all those goodies with me over into authorship and teaching you, my fellow author, how to get more done in less time - and thrive while doing it.
Want to know one of my secrets?
Yep. You may have heard this be called time-batching, task-batching, theme days, or even time blocking. Whatever you call it, by the end of this article, it's my goal to have you equipped with this sanity-saving tool and ready to create your own batch schedule. Let's dive in!
Batching is a lifesaver for authors when it comes to working more focused and productively.
What is batching?
Batching is the process of grouping like tasks with like tasks, setting aside a dedicated time, and cranking them out in a streamlined way. You will continuously work on that specific task until you have completed it or until you've reached a set amount of time.
Simply put, by chunking out the time and focusing solely on one thing, you can increase your productivity and completion speed. #win
what's The problem with multi-tasking?
I'm a multi-tasker by nature. As a homeschooling mom to three kiddos, business owner, and author I kind of have to be. For a long time, I looked at multi-tasking as one of my superpowers. But I've learned over the years that just because a behavior is natural, doesn't mean that it's better.
In fact, when we are multitasking, we’re using a lot of our brain’s resources on the process of switching, instead of the tasks themselves. And then there is always the risk of getting distracted and falling down a rabbit hole, surfacing hours later, and wondering how in the world it's already 4 pm. (Been there.)
Batching solves all of those issues. And as an added benefit, it also makes all the behind-the-scenes business and book marketing tasks that much much easier to implement into your schedule.
What kinds of things can an author batch?
When it comes to us authors, there is always one task on our to-do list. And that is to write more words. There are always more words to write, isn't there? I hear many people suggesting that the most important thing is to write every day. But not every author can make that happen - I know I can't. So today, I'm offering another viewpoint. Batch those words out!
Whether that means setting aside three days a week to batch out 90-minute of focused word-sprinting or going on a 2-day 'batch-cation" on the weekends, this process can help you meet your word count goals without having to try and fit in writing sessions every day. (see below for the definition of "batch-cation")
We aren't done yet, though. You can apply batching to much more than. Other tasks you can batch as an author:
- Writing Newsletters – Dedicate a batching session to writing, editing, formatting, and scheduling all of your emails for the month
- Social Media Content – Hold a batching session for writing captions, creating graphics and book mockups, editing social media photos, scheduling posts
- Engaging On Social Media – Yep, hold a mini-batch session each day to hop online and engage with your audience
- Blogging – Draft your posts, edit them, format them, create the graphics, set up the SEO, schedule them out, and repurpose them all in a batching session
- Be The CEO – Okay, so as an authorpreneur, you are always the CEO. But you can set aside a batching session every now and then to step into that CEO role and make things happen
- Organize Promos And Newsletter Swaps – a batching session can help get that task off of your to-do list
- Book Production – When it comes to batching for authors, just like with writing, you can also batch book editing, formatting, and publishing tasks. Need to do a world-building session? Batch it out!
- Photography – need to get some selfies for the 'gram? What about some #bookstagram photos? Shoot, edit, and organize all in a batching session
- Website Maintenance –
- You-time – wait, what? Batching self-care? Yep! Batch your exercising, journaling, leisure-reading, whatever you want! You can also utilize batching in your personal life like meal prepping, house-cleaning days, and so on.
As you can see, the list of things you can batch is pretty long and I'm sure I haven't covered half of it.
author batching methods
There are many ways in which you can batch tasks, which makes this process truly customizable. You can pick which one works best for you and your specific situation, mix-and-match, or even blend these different methods together if you like.
Daily Batching- categorizing each day to be focused on one core task by "theming" them. For example:
- Monday - CEO Day + Admin
- Tuesday - Book Production
- Wednesday - Marketing
- Thursday - Book Production
- Friday - Content Creation
Weekly Batching - categorizing each week to be focused on one core task. For example:
- Week 1 - Book Production
- Week 2 - Marketing + Admin
- Week 3 - Book Production
- Week 4 - Content Creation
Time-Blocking - scheduling your days in focused "chunks" dedicated to a specific task.
Hold a "Batch-cation" - batching + vacation = batch-cation! This kind of batching is done when your tasks aren't frequently recurring. For example, holding an annual plan-a-thon or goal-setting retreat over the course of a weekend.
One-off batching - similar to the batch-cation, this is when the tasks aren't recurring and you can create a one-and-done batching session to knock it off of your list.
Tips for batching success
Now you may be wondering how you actually get started batching. Here are my tips to get started creating your batch routine and make the most out of every batching session.
- Braindump everything you do in your author business (or should be doing).
- For each task, consider how often it needs doing and how long the task typically takes you.
- Look for "themes" or similarities.
- For example, writing social posts, taking photos, editing them, scheduling them out = content creation
- Group similar tasks together by category.
- Now that's done, ask yourself - how can you create these ahead of time or in bulk?
- Schedule in your batching session (based on the batching types listed above).
- Create a utilize workflows! These are magic when it comes to your batch day.
- Back to our content creation example, write out every step from planning to scheduling that you do. Create a checklist. When batching day comes, pull that checklist back out and work through it one at a time. BOOM! Done.
- Use a project management system. Now, I love a good paper planner. But when it comes to managing my batching days, project management systems are essential. Popular ones are Trello and Asana.
- Pomodoro it! These short, focused 25 minute sprints help keep your mind sharp and prevent burnout during a batching session. This can look like:
- 25 minutes of focused, uninterrupted work
- 5 minute break
And there you go! We've reached the end of this ultimate guide to batching for authors. If you'd like some more authorly goodness, snag your spot in the Thriving Scribes Free Resource Library below and then tell me - what aspect of your author business are you most excited about batching?